Donald “Cowboy” Stephens (17-4-0-1) vs. Jeremy “Lil’ Heathens” Stephens (20-7-0)
In a marquee matchup of lightweight fighters looking to rebound, we have king of the quick turnaround and 9 time fight bonus winner Donald Cerrone against 4-time knockout of the night winner Jeremy Stephens. Sometimes when fighters are coming off losses they change their style and become more reserved. These are two fighters that have proved they will not. Look for them to be swinging for the fences from the start of the first round bell.
Donald Cerrone is a fighter who has no secrets. Stepping into the cage with him you will know you are in a fight. The skill that he posses is that he seamlessly blends standup with ground game. That is evident in his win over Dennis Siver, a top lightweight at the time, who he rocked on the feet, and then finished the fight on the ground. Unfortunately, he lost his last fight to the rising Nate Diaz, because he was content to get beat up on the feet. That could be the case if he stands with Jeremy, so Donald needs to take it to the ground in this fight if he is having trouble on the feet.
There is no secret to Jeremy’s game, and that’s a problem. Sometimes it produces spectacular knockouts, or come from behind wins like his fight against Marcus Davis. But, sometimes it enables someone to stymy him, like his fight against Anthony Pettis. Jeremy will win this bout if he can drag Donald into a firefight, but he has also been outclassed on the feet which is a problem when you are only one style. Given, he has the one punch power to knockout anyone, but will it be enough?
The Bottom Line: While, Stephens has had some spectacular wins he is not on the level of Cerrone. Cerrone will use his reach and power to beat Stephens standing up until he takes it to the ground and finishes him in the second round.